Last day of looking back at the loss to Houston, and we may take a break from the Gabbert questions for a few days, too.
He's a rookie. There's development ahead. Not too many more ways to say it.
Let's get to it . . .
David from Jacksonville:
Did you notice a lack of urgency on the offense's part during our last scoring drive? With about six minutes left on the clock and down by two touchdowns, there didn't seem to be any urgency on the part of the players in getting to the line, or on the part of offensive coordinator Dirk Koetter in the play-calling. Even Lageman mentioned it during the broadcast. What do you think, JO?
John: I respect Lageman's opinion, but in this case, I didn't have a real problem with the play-calling. In a normal circumstance, you absolutely should be moving more quickly, but this isn't an offense right now that looks like it's going to function all that well trying rush things. Better to play at a pace they're comfortable with and get a touchdown than to try to hurry up and get nothing. The Jaguars still scored with enough time left to get the ball back had they made a defensive stop.
Chaz from Saint Johns, FL:
I really wish these fans would be realistic with what "should" be expected of the rookie quarterback. He played two college seasons (of which, the games outside of the Big 12 were not against strong teams) and he's 22 years old. He is going through what any other young, raw quarterback would. My only concern with him at this point is his willingness to step into the throw. It's called courage, and that's something no coach can teach; it comes from the person's ability to have confidence in himself and his teammates. Blaine is going to have to realize he's going to get hit. It's just a facet of the game. You either realize it and accept it, or you don't. I hope he does because he has the fundamental makings of a great quarterback.
John: Yes, he does.
Mike from Orange Park, FL:
Which do you think has been a bigger hindrance to Gabbert's success, his line or his receivers?
John: For the most part, the line has not played badly this season.
Bo from Dresden, NC:
Is it just me or are people missing that Blaine has been playing against a murderer's row of defenses and coordinators? Also I would like to know our starting field position average since he took over it has got to be horrible.
John: The Jaguars have averaged starting right at the 30-yard line in Gabbert's six starts. That's not horrible, but your point is well-taken. On Sunday, when the Jaguars had good field position they scored twice. At game's start, they took possession at the 11- and 10-yard lines, and it seemed they were fighting uphill most of the first half. As for the opponents, you're right. Gabbert hasn't gotten a break yet. That's not the only reason for the offensive struggles, but it sure doesn't help.
Christopher from Jacksonville:
The difference between our receivers and other NFL receivers is ours do not fight for the ball in tight coverage. Guys are going to be covered and Blaine has the guts to throw it in there. Mike Sims-Walker had man to man on the outside (which Blaine recognized) and ran a soft in route, never drove the defender up the field and to the sideline, allowing the defender to run underneath him and bat the ball away. Same thing by Jason Hill on a goal-line crossing route that was also batted away. Watch other teams and quarterbacks throw in the vicinity of their receivers and their receivers make the catch. Hopefully, we can find a beast of a receiver that wants the ball and can aggressively make a catch. Do you agree or is it on the quarterback?
John: I don't believe the problems with the passing game are all on Gabbert and I believe your point on the receivers is one reason.
Kelvin from Atlanta, GA:
Who gets the No. 1 pick in next year's draft if the Colts and Dolphins end up 0-16?
John: It will be determined by strength of schedule from the 2011 season. The team with the lowest strength-of-schedule percentage will select first.
Andrew from Jacksonville:
Marcedes is a diva. I feel so betrayed by him. The hold out, the drops, he doesn't feel like the Jaguar he was last year. Where is this team? It seems like everyone is pointing fingers at someone else. I'd be OK with losing if I truly thought we should be. But we shouldn't. What happened?
John: I wouldn't consider Marcedes a diva and I wouldn't feel betrayed, either. He's not having the year he or anyone else expected, but it's not a lack of effort or caring. I certainly wouldn't hold the holdout against him. NFL players have every right to hold out for more money when their contract is up. It's pretty standard stuff. As for the losing, it's the passing offense, plain and simple. The rookie quarterback is struggling, and when you add to that a struggling receiver corps it's one of those things that builds on itself and snowballs. Right now, it's a blizzard.
Jim from Edgewater, FL:
The two interceptions that Blaine threw on Sunday seemed to me more out of frustration not completing passes than anything else. Your thoughts?
John: I don't know about that. For the most part, Gabbert has made pretty smart decisions with the ball. The first interception Sunday was tipped and the second, it seemed he made the right read; he just didn't make a good throw. That happens sometimes.
Tray from Jacksonville:
Why haven't the Jags tried to sign Terrell Owens? He will sell tickets and open the game for pass attack. Teams are still going to double team him.
John: I can only assume his agent is too busy taking calls from other teams.
Ron from Orlando, FL:
How about Clint Session?? Every time he blitzed, he seemed to time the snap count perfectly and looked like a wrecking ball through the offensive line.
John: He was impressive. I vividly recall him blitzing twice. The first time he destroyed two blocks and disrupted the play and the second time, he made an athletic move, got off the ground and forced a fumble that led to the Jaguars' first touchdown. Good for Session. He had a tough start and has improved dramatically in the last couple of games. Blitzing was something he didn't get a chance to do much in Indianapolis and he always believed he was good at it. As it turns out, he was right.
Brian from Jacksonville:
Are the Jags just a bad comedy now? Does the offense even show up during the week to practice, film etc. You are there John, do they? How long does it take for your offense to come together? Even just somewhat come together. At this point it will never come together. When your defense is trying laterals to stay in the game that says to me that they have given up on the offense.
John: If this is comedy, no one's laughing. Yes, they work at it. Yes, they try. As for coming together, well, we'll see. We'll see.
Carlos from Barcelona, Spain:
Even though your article was right on many accounts, and the many questions you're gonna get about play-calling, scheme, and such, I have to say this. That was a pretty solid Houston team, who'll most likely be in the mix come January. Sometimes it's not about what you failed to do, sometimes the other guy is just a lot better and wins.
John: You're right. Houston was the better team. But 10 of 30 indicates something wrong with the passing game, and even though it's not all on the quarterback, it's not all on the Texans, either.
Jeff from Westminster, CO:
I don't envy you having to read the hate messages today, John. Thanks for making following the team fun (despite the 2-6 record). Anyway, given the restrictions on practices during the season, how much can the QB coach work with Gabbert on his footwork? Can they work on that daily if he's not in full pads?
John: It can be worked on, but the reality is there is a limit to how much focus on fundamentals and hard-core improving of technique and the like is going to get done in the regular season. Regular-season practices and work days are about preparing and game-planning for the upcoming opponent and the time for working on fundamentals and techniques is usually the off-season. The new CBA hasn't helped, either. In the past, for example, the bye week often was used for focusing on what your team needed to work on. A team would break down what had gone wrong or right in the first part of the season and take the week figuring how to improve without worrying about an opponent. Now, the league has mandated a four-day weekend, so while the Jaguars will do some self-focused practicing, it's not as much as it would have been.
I looked into my crystal football and here's what I saw for the 3rd quarter of the season. Wins over the Ponies and Brownies. A thumping of Houston in an emotional rematch. Then, an electric win on MNF with the Bolts to even the record to 6-6. Back in business!
John: Who are you and what are you doing in my inbox?